This study into how the stories of the Old Testament impacted Jesus as he grew into a man has really been invigorating to me. Seeing how Jesus would have grown in his wisdom and knowledge of God and man through these has really had me thinking about how these stories also impact me through Jesus. Thanks for taking the time to read.
Sometimes the reading of the Word can be overly rich. It is hard to relate back just one thing we see. Forgive me if this seems scattered or long. I love how in Exodus 23:1-9 we see a very clear connection to the trial Jesus endured. Everything God told his people not to do in a trial setting they did at Jesus' trial. The crowd gave way to go along with everyone else. They brought in malicious witnesses then the crowd went along with false testimony. They put an innocent men to death. A bribe was accepted and through all this the poor and foreigners were oppressed. However, God clearly states in the middle of it all, "I will not acquit the guilty!" I can imagine this small passage playing through Jesus' mind as his trial was underway. In fact, he could have quoted it and brought all his accusers to task with the very law they were trying to use to accuse him, but he kept his mouth shut because of his love for you and me. Then in 23:20-33, we see God declaring He will send an angel with "his Name" ahead of Israel and this is followed by 10 "I will's" declaring what God was going to do if they obeyed and followed Him. Of course, it was all based on "If" Israel listened to the Angel of the Lord and obeyed all that God said. Think of Jesus soaking these words in, a young Jewish boy longing to do what all Jewish boys desired! Obeying Gods law completely. Then Jesus as he grew in wisdom sees what His Father "Will Do" as he obeys. He would be an enemy to all Jesus's enemies (especially the Enemy) God would oppose the opposers. His blessing would be on his food and water (as he would be the bread of life and the fount of living waters). And the list goes on. Jesus was allowed to be impacted by these great promises as he came to a full understanding of who He was and who His Father is and he could rest assured that what His Father promised, would be done. What a beautiful story written so that a young man named Jesus could one day hear it, read it, and believe it and trust in His Father, even all the way to a death on the cross, knowing his obedience would be accepted and that in turn, God would follow through on every one of His "I Wills" #Impact #EnjoyTheShepherd
Reading today in Exodus 25-26, it is full of all these fine details on how the Tabernacle is to be built. Moses is up on the Mountain in the cloud with God getting detailed instructions for when he goes back down. This morning impact moment came in the first two verses of chapter 25. God is speaking to Moses and tells him to take up an offering for the items needed for the building of the Tabernacle from "those who are prompted to give," or the MSG says "from those who are willing to give." Then, without waiting for the offering to be taken up, God goes straight into His plans and designs for the place in which He would choose to "dwell" with his people. In other words, God knew there would be plenty to accomplish His work. Imagine the great impact this had on Jesus as he has worked in the market place all His adult life, waiting for the word "Go" from His Father. When that time comes, Jesus is not a self made millionaire nor has he accumulated enough wealth to go on mission for 3 years. Rather, His Father said to Go and promises that He would supply Jesus all he needed through the willingness of others to give. As Jesus read this story and saw the enormity of the items needed for the Tabernacle to be completed, he may have been tempted to be like any other man and think "wow, we better make sure we have all this stuff before we begin!" However, His Father displayed for him in this story a beautiful truth, Where God intends to accomplish a work, the necessary supplies will be provided! Jesus could take his own personal "leap of faith" into a life on ministry because He knew His Father would prompt the hearts of those who were willing to supply His earthly needs and He could also trust His Father to supply ALL his needs to overcome the struggles he would certainly face! What a beautiful moment of Impact for Jesus to read this story and be able to go forward in boldness knowing that all his needs for his earthly Tabernacle (body) would be supplied both for his life and for the grace needed in his death! #Impact #EnjoyTheShepherd
The depths of the riches of Scripture is unsearchable. It just keeps going and going. This morning in Exodus 28 I read of the stones on the shoulder and breastplate of the priest. The ones on the shoulders carried the names of the twelve tribes of Israel and they were cut into the stone "as a gem cutter engraves a seal." In other words they are permanent and "sealed". They were put on the priest shoulders so he could beat them before the Lord as a "memorial before the Lord." (v.11-2). Then later in verse 21 we see each name engraved "like a seal" on a stone on the breastplate of the priest so the names would be "over his heart" as "a continual reminder before the Lord." (v.29). And why was it over his heart, our modern day symbol of love? The end of v.30 says the priest "will always bear the means of making decisions for the people over his heart before the Lord." What an impactful moment for Jesus as he grew in his understanding of his role as high priest and knew he would bear the names of each of his children on his shoulders before his Father, holding us up as a memorial before Him and that our names would be over His heart as he makes decisions on our behalf always out of love before the LORD. And our names are engraved "as a gem cutter engraved a seal" both upon his shoulders that we may be lifted up and also on his heart so that we are forever sealed in the Love of Jesus! What a glorious picture both for Jesus to see and for us to live in. #Impact #EnjoyTheShepherd
Exodus 29 lays out the consecration of the priest. A very detailed account of how Aaron and his sons would be set apart for Gods work. In verse 11 we see a bull being slain "in the presence of the Lord" as a sin offering. It's blood poured out at the base of the altar. Then its flesh disposed of outside the camp. In verse 17 we see a Ram "cut to pieces", washed, then placed on the altar as a pleasing aroma to God. The chapter goes on with its list of daily task of the priest that would never cease all so that we could get to verse 45-46 where we see the why behind it all. "So that God can dwell with His people." As Jesus peers into this passage and learns of his place as both the priest and the sacrifice, he begins to understand that he too will be slain in the presence of the Lord, his blood poured out at the base of the altar (cross). His flesh ripped to pieces and all of him laid out as a pleasing aroma to his Father. Like any man, he wants to know the why behind his suffering, which he is given here in two simple verses, "So his Daddy could dwell with His people." Jesus lived with this one goal in mind, to please the Father. He knew being with us as His people was what pleases Him the most, so as he read the foretelling of his horrendous death as the Lamb of God, he allowed the impact of what his sacrifice would accomplish outweigh the impact of the suffering he would endure! Praise be to His name! #Impact #EnjoyTheShepherd
Exodus 31 opens just after all the details on how to craft the Tabernacle had been given and God tells Moses the name of a man who God had hand picked for the job of overseeing all crafting of the designs for the Tabernacle. God says this of Bezalel of the tribe of Judah, "I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts. . ." This man was extremely talented with his hands. A master craftsman. However, the first thing God identified was that he had been filled with the Spirit of God. In other words, without the Spirit of God, he would not of had these abilities and skills. Sure, he could have been good at what he did, but it was the filling of the Spirit of God that set him apart to do the work. I love how this very small detail in the story impacted Jesus as he grew in his wisdom and knowledge. I love how it is shown to be true as he open his ministry, most certainly having plenty of skill and knowledge in the Scriptures. He had been memorizing them all his life. He had help build a family business as a skilled craftsman under Joseph. At 30 years old he is now running that business and using his abilities and skills. However, the evidence that this story in Exodus 31 impacted him is in Luke 4 where we see his ministry starting and it says he was "full of the Spirit" when he went into the desert. We see he comes out of the desert in the "power of he Spirit" and that he proclaims he was "anointed" and "sent" by the Spirit. Jesus had lots of skills. He probably could have masterminded some sort of movement or built some sort of following using his skills and abilities. However, seeing that even the master craftsman of the Tabernacles first need was the filling of the Spirit of God, he too knew that any work he did could only be done if He was full of Gods Spirit and relied 100% on the Spirit to complete the work. May this also resonate in our lives that any work we do, whether as a Monk or a Merchant, it all depends first on the Spirit of God filling us, leading us, and working through us! #Impact #EnjoyTheShepherd
The words of the Old Testament are so exciting when you see Jesus in them. What a glorious story he told so that one day he could learn it and see who he was and is and forever will be. Exodus 33 opens with God saying He would not go with the Israelites because of their rebellion. They had just come out of the golden calf incident. However His proclamation was not in anger, it was for love because God knew his holiness would possibly consume them in their sin. Sin burns up in the presence of holiness. However, Moses comes and pleads with God and in v12-13 Moses says, "You have said, 'I know you by name and you have found favor with me.' If You are pleased with me, yeah me your ways so I may know You and continue to find favor with You." And then again in v 16 " How will anyone know that you are pleased with me ... unless you go with me. What will distinguish me ... from all the other people on the face of the earth?" As Jesus is sent forth, he too must have stopped and prayed these very words. He had memorized them and seen that it was only through God being with Moses and the Israelites that anything was accomplished. As he steps out of the marketplace and into fulfilling his role as the Lamb, he most certainly would have cried out as Moses did in v.15, "If Your Presence does not go with me, do not send me up from here!" The heart of Jesus was to be with His Father and he knew if the work was to be accomplished, it would only happen if the Father's presence was always with him! I can imagine the joy Jesus had when he too heard these words at his baptism, "I will do this very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name! V.17. (This is my son, in whom I am well pleased! A direct reference to these words in Exodus). What Impact these had on Jesus. And how they should impact us! When God sends, may we always stop first and cry out, "do not send me unless You come to!" And may we wait till we hear the words, "I will go with you for you are my child, I know your name, and I am pleased with you!" #impact #EnjoyTheShepherd
Exodus 34:28. Moses was with the Lord 40 days and nights with no food or water. He was writing the words of the Lord on the tablet of stone and he was simply "with God." When he came from this beautiful encounter, although he had no food or water, his face was radiating the glory of God! v.29. He had been so close with God his face reflected the glory to the point he had to wear a veil when with the people, but he always took it off when he spent time with the Lord (v35). Can you imagine what it was like for Jesus reading this story? He had been so close with the Father, yet to be with us he had to put on a veil of flesh, but not just any flesh, he came in the form of a helpless baby. Had he just appeared, his radiance would have been too much for us to bear. As he few in his knowledge and understanding of who he was, the Son of God, he longed for this same meeting that Moses had, just simply to behold the glory of God! I can hear Jesus crying out from the depths of his soul Exodus 33:18 "Father, show me your glory!" And then like Moses ending up 49 days and night without food and water in a wilderness! But He was with his Father. That was the satisfaction Jesus longed for! That was what his soul thirsted for, that communion he had been sent to Enjoy! The passion we all long for! And like Moses, he enjoyed 40 days alone with his Father, yet when he came out of the wilderness, he had to maintain the veil of the flesh he had taken on so that His Father could enjoy what he longed for, "to dwell with His people." But we all know Jesus would slip away privately so he could momentarily remove the veil and again just be with the One his heart ached for, God! Even once the veil was temporarily lifted for the Transfiguration, but Jesus commanded it be kept quiet till the proper time. He knew if we saw him without the veil, our eyes could not stand the sight, or even worse, we might be tempted to ignore the Father and only focus on him (as the teachers of the law did with Moses.) what a glorious picture Jesus painted for himself through Moses so he too would understand that what mattered most was being with God the Father, so he veiled his own glory in order to point us to what our hearts truly long for, oneness with God! #Impact #EnjoyTheShepherd